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Tuesday, April 15, 2008

(Almost) every golfer has his day

I've played golf since I was in elementary school. I remember my first bag of clubs, my first pair of golf shoes, lessons with my dad and local pros and many terrible rounds of learning.

My family loves golf so much that many, many years ago they put their construction skills to good use and built their own golf course. Nine of the 18 holes are topped off with tall lights, similar to those used at the old Baptist Ballpark, allowing people to play long after the sun sets. Back then it was one of the first courses in the country to do such a thing and to this day you won't find many other night courses around.

The course design is simple, mostly Par 3s, and it yields itself to an easy hole-in-one. Well, as easy as a hole-in-one ever comes to a player. Even with a home field advantage, I've never had a hole-in-one. My brothers have. The last time I counted, my 16-year-old brother had made 13. His hole-in-ones are equal to his years playing the game.

I've come close, but close doesn't cut it or get your name printed in the agate. I've played and payed my dues, why no hole-in-one? The game continues to prove none of us are worthy. Golf seems to choose your time and victories. That shot you nailed yesterday on the right hole with that magic club, well, in the golf world all of that could land you OB the very next day. It's merciless.

This is my only explanation for a story I read today. How does an 85-year-old blind guy make a hole-in-one, but I can't seem to make it happen? I've sacrificed many white orbs to the Golf Gods over the years, but my time has yet to come. No doubt I'll continue to pay my dues, and pray, and maybe one day the game will shine on me too.

Legally Blind Golfer, 85, Gets Ace

GREEN VALLEY, Ariz. (AP) -- An 85-year-old legally blind golfer from southern Arizona made a hole-in-one this week on a par-3 course. Robert Dunham accomplished the feat on the third hole at Tortuga in Green Valley.

Playing with a group of fellow blind veterans enrolled in a Veterans Affairs health care system program, Dunham's volunteer assistant lined him up with the ball, handed him a 9-iron and stepped back.

Dunham swung through the ball, hit it squarely and it landed softly on the green, taking one hop before nestling into the bottom of the cup.

Dunham's group erupted into a cacophony of cheers and high-fives.

The World War II vet's first reaction?

"I thought they were kidding me," Dunham said. "I told them, 'You guys better not be pulling my leg.'"

The retired Honeywell manager began losing his vision about 10 years ago, but has been in the VA program for only three weeks.


Blogger Sammy said...

I hit a hole-in-one on a par 3. It was at pirate mini-golf in Hot Springs.

2:40 PM  
Blogger Stephanie Netherton said...

The day you do it blind will be the day I'm impressed.

3:52 PM  
Blogger Sammy said...

Hey, you're the golfer and writer in this relationship, I'm the rapper and scientist, remember?

4:14 PM  
Blogger Stephanie Netherton said...

I thought you'd given up on your rapping career for a singer/songwriter vibe?

4:19 PM  

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